Bulgaria Regains Its Place in World Arms Market

Business | May 28, 2008, Wednesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 4
Bulgaria Regains Its Place in World Arms Market: Bulgaria Regains Its Place in World Arms Market Bulgaria's President Georgi Parvanov (left) opened Wednesday the Hemus 2008 International Defense Exhibition in the city of Plovdiv. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Deputy Economy Minister Yavor Kuyumdzhiev announced Wednesday the country was already regaining its traditional arms export markets in Northern Africa, Europe, and is even gaining ground in the United States.

During the opening of the Hemus 2008 International Defense Exhibit in the city of Plovdiv, Kuyumdzhiev said as well Bulgarian arms production was increasingly finding markets in Egypt, Iraq, and Azerbaijan.

"For the first time we are negotiating direct arms exports for the Arab states as we have so far been exporting through US intermediaries. In the recent years, Bulgaria is returning the export levels of special arms products that we had twenty years ago", the Deputy Minister said.

He announced that in 2007 Bulgaria's arms exports amounted to EUR 180 M, and since the beginning of 2008 new exports permits for EUR 120 M had been issued, which meant that the 2007 volume of exports would be surpassed.

Bulgaria's arms exports during the socialist period amounted to USD 200-300 M, with the exception of the beginning of the 1980s when it amounted to the record USD 1 B per year.

The Bulgarian arms industry is currently producing arms for BGN 450 M (EUR 220) Only 1,5% of these are purchased by the Bulgarian Army according to the reports.

A total 103 arms companies from 20 countries are participating in the Hemus 2008 International Defense Exhibition, including 55 Bulgarian and 48 foreign firms.
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» To the forumComments (4)
Jerry - 28 May 2008 // 17:18:26

Is there a relationship between the President's planned visit to Africa and the Middle East and the Bulgarian Arms Sales?

The Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce meetings in Venezuela has representatives from the Arms industry.

Let us go back to Bulgarian Arms Transparency and Sales because I do not want to be shot by "Bulgarian Friendly Fire".

CJB - 28 May 2008 // 16:23:40

Hmm, there's something fishy here. Let's look at the figures.

Current BG arms production: 220 million euros

BG army buys 1.5% = 3.3 million euros
Exports = 180 million euros

Which leaves 36.7 million euros worth of armaments unaccounted for.

Who buys these? Any ideas?

CJB - 28 May 2008 // 16:19:05

Jerry, from the look on his face it's easy to tell the President does not give a damn who buys these weapons. In Communist times they would be supplied to suitably revolutionary regimes. Now, it's just "show me the money"!

According to the article one key market is North Africa: plenty of conflict going on there to fuel demand. Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Chad...

Then there's Iraq...

Jerry - 28 May 2008 // 16:01:24

Now Mr. President, what guarantees will you give me that these arms will not get in the hands of FARC, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Taliban and the Criminal elements in the large Organized Crime Organizations.

As a boomerang returning, how much friendly blood will be lost?

Now I would like to see a clear Transparent Bulgarian Arms Sale Policy.

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